Geelong add three Falcons at draft

Mitch Knevitt was one of three Geelong Falcons selected by the Cats in the AFL draft. (Supplied) 259760_01

Ash Bolt

Three Geelong Falcons stars were among the five players selected by Geelong on the second night of the AFL draft yesterday.

The Cats added St Mary’s ruckman Toby Conway with pick 24 and Grovedale pair Mitch Knevitt (pick 25) and Cooper Whyte (pick 64) on Thursday night.

The Cats also selected South Australian James Willis with its third pick of the night (pick 32) and Flynn Kroeger (pick 48) from Eastern Ranges.

Conway, Knevitt and Whyte were the only three Falcons players to be selected in the national draft.

Geelong recruiting and list manager Stephen Wells said the club was pleased with its selections at the draft.

“We are excited to add these boys to our list,” he said.

“We came in with a plan to draft some midfielders and apart from Toby, the other four are genuine midfielder types who complement each other, and the other players we already have at the club.

“To be able to trade up and get pick 23 was important to us. It came on the back of some trades we did last year in the Jeremy Cameron deal.

“Toby and Mitch, who we picked in the 20s, had outstanding years for the Falcons and for the Vic country team.

“Cooper was a great contributor for the Falcons. We were very happy to pick them.”

After not being involved in the first night of the draft, Cats fans didn’t have to wait long for Geelong to snap up Conway with the fourth pick of the second round.

Conway was the first pure ruckman taken in the draft and was highly rated after working with former Geelong star Brad Ottens throughout the year.

Wells said Conway had good endurance that allowed him to move well around the ground and get involved in general play.

He was named in the NAB League team of the year and represented both Vic Country and the Australian academy team in 2021.

“Toby, like most ruckmen, may take a while to develop but with some established rucks at the club this will give Toby time to learn and develop his trade,” Wells said.

The Cats then selected his Falcons teammate Knevitt with the following pick.

Knevitt won the Falcons’ best and fairest this season and represented Vic Country at Under 18 level.

He was named in the NAB League team of the year as a midfielder after showing off his speed, endurance and strength for the Falcons.

“Mitch has some versatility about him. He’ll spend most of his time in the midfield, and he has the running capability to be a midfielder,” Wells said.

The Cats rounded out their list with more midfielders in Willis, Kroeger and Whyte.

“Flynn had some injuries, but he has a strong body and is a very tough competitor and he meets a need for us with our midfield developing group,” Wells said.

“James had a terrific year at North Adelaide; he had big numbers when he played and was able to kick goals out of the midfield.”

Geelong has two list spots left to fill at today’s rookie draft.